Jason Isbell & Opinions on Cardi B

Jason Isbell

For country singer/songwriter Jason Isbell's latest record, The Nashville Sound, he wrote about his role as a father and an artist in today's America. It ended up being his most political album yet, addressing issues like white privilege and working class frustrations. Jason joins Jim and Greg to talk about songwriting, ethics, sobriety, and performs a special acoustic set. Plus, the hosts review the debut studio album from rap sensation Cardi B.

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This week, the Pulitzer Prize for musical composition went to Kendrick Lamar for his 2017 album DAMN. Lamar is the first non-classical or jazz performer to win the prize. According to the Pulitzers, DAMN. is "a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life." Jim wonders if this is a case of the Pulitzer committee "trying to match the Nobel Prize committee giving a Nobel to Bob Dylan?" Greg suggests that the Pulitzers did "a better job of recognizing genius" than the Grammies did. He adds that he fact that DAMN. did not win the Grammy for Album of the Year "is magnified now."

Jason Isbell

For his latest record, The Nashvillve Sound, Grammy-wining country singer Jason Isbell set out to document his life as a father and an artist in 2017. What came out of that process is an album that has been described as his most political yet. "It came out political because what else is there in the public consciousness right now if not that?" Jason asks in an interview with Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis. Jason Isbell came by our studios to talk about performing during a politically divided time, how his time in Drive-By Truckers spurred his songwriting, and how vampires works as a great topic for a love song. He also performed a solo acoustic set.

Invasion of Privacy Cardi B

Invasion of Privacy

Right now, Bronx rapper Cardi B is everywhere after she dropped her debut studio album Invasion of Privacy. Cardi gained notoriety through Instagram and as a cast member on the reality show Love & Hip Hop New York, but her musical prowess and work ethic are at the forefront now (her mega hit "Bodak Yellow" is still a dominant presence on the charts a year after its release.) Jim has some problems with this record because of its frequent usage of the "b word" and excessive mentions of material items. However, he praises Cardi for her intelligent and humorous lyrics and how she is an empowering figure to young people of all colors and gender identities. Jim gives it a Try It. Greg agrees that he could do without some of the commercialization, but highlights the catchy hooks and vibe of the album. He also notes that Cardi B has been discerning with this record, showing the juxtaposition of strength and vulnerability and is the driver's seat of her career. Even if rap isn't your thing, Greg believes Invasion of Privacy is a must-listen and a Buy It.

Jim

Jim dropped a coin in the Desert Island Jukebox this week and, inspired by Cardi B, selected "Ladies First" by Queen Latifah featuring Monie Love. Jim says that "female empowerment in hip hop starts with this phenomenal single," which was released in 1989. He loves the way "these women say we can do this, [and] we are not going to listen to anyone who says we can't." He notes that many people think of Queen Latifah primarily as an actress today, but "when she was on her game in hip hop, nobody was better."

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